Friday 31 October 2014

Trader Vic's Hilton Hotel

Trader Vic's

FoodieForce has been having quite the week of celebrations.

On Tuesday we celebrated a milestone, with one year of blogging, hooray! In the evening the celebrations continued visiting Trader Vic's a French-Polynesian restaurant located on London's Park Lane. 
Hilton Park Lane
This year is the 80th anniversary of Trader Vic's and the 70th anniversary of the Mai Tai, the cocktail synonymous with Trader Vic's around the world. So it was the perfect place to have a celebration. 

Trader Vic's 80th Birthday
Today, Trader Vic’s has locations in 17 countries across the globe, they sell over 2 million Mai Tai's annually.

Arriving at Trader Vic's Hula Bar is a lot like visiting a tropical island. It reminds me lots of my adventures in Maui, Hawaii. The only difference in the UK was the torrential rain and winds that we had experienced before entering Trader Vic's.  
Trader Vic's
London Bar
Trader Vic's
Trader Vic's
Trader Vic's
On arrival we are greeted by Tiki the symbol of a warm welcome. Aloha! 
Trader Vic's London
For a Tuesday night the bar and restaurant was a hive of activity, with many couples and friends enjoying a lovely cocktail and Trader Vic's have quite the cocktail list. 

We begin the evening celebrations with the original 1944 Mai Tai (£13.50). 
Mai Tai
Wow this drink kicks a punch, it has lots of rum and on a cold autumn night in London, warmed the cockles. If you fancy making one at home check out this YouTube clip

The Trader Vic has so many cocktails that choosing our next drink was quite difficult. I love that they have a Mai Tai aptly named 'Suffering Bastard'. The perfect drink for any bloggers suffering other half, who spends the night not being able to drink or eat anything until the perfect picture is taken. 

Next up was the 'Mai Tai Wave' (£16) including three flavours: Guava, Maui (pineapple) and Mango. 
Trader Vic's
Favourite definitely the Maui Mai Tai -perfect pineapple and rum mix. 

Trader Vic's has the perfect bar menu to accompany the cocktails. We start with the Cosmo tidbits (£19).

Trader vic's Hilton
Crispy prawns, crab Rangoon (Crab ragu soft cheese and spring onion), char siu pork BBQ ribs. The ribs were cooked in the Chinese wood-fired ovens, where the meat is roasted to perfection in the true 'roti' tradition. I'm not normally a great fan of anything in pastry or that has been deep fried but the Crab Rangoon was totally delicious lovely and cheesy. 
Chinese wood fired oven
The pork ribs had a wonderful smoky flavour and the meat melted off the bone. 

Tiger Prawn Mimosa (£9): Grilled king prawns, garlic compound butter, Pickle vegetables. These for me were a highlight. It is extremely difficult to cook tiger prawns well, without them being overcooked and going chewy. These had a wonderful flavour and were perfectly moist. 
Trader Vic's
Trader Vic's
Beef and reef (£29): Wok fried beef tenderloin, shrimp, garlic, black pepper,spring onion, red onion steamed rice. 
The beef in this dish had a wonderful black pepper and garlic smokiness. Considering this was bar food I was impressed at the quality. But I guess the price reflects this. Trader Vic's also has a restaurant and based on what I have tried as bar food I will definitely be back to give the restaurant a try. 

Trader Vic's is like walking into another world, with fantastic cocktails, great service, lovely ambiance and wonderful bar food cooked to perfection in the oak smoked oven's, you couldn't fail to have a great evening. Trader Vic's is definitely a place to go to relax and have cocktails. 

Trader Vic's
22 Park Lane
Tel no: 020 7208 4113
Square Meal Trader Vic's on Urbanspoon

*I was kindly a guest of Trader Vic's, however in no way did that affect this review I had a wonderful time and I am looking forward to going back and trying the restaurant. 

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Tuesday 28 October 2014

One Year of Blogging

One year of blogging
You might have been wondering yesterday where my Monday post was, but fear not there was a good reason for the delay. This week and today especially marks a very special occasion.

The first of anything is always very exciting, my first smile (well it could have been wind, but who cares), my first taste of solid food (baby rice in my case, but I'm pleased too report that my taste bubs have advanced to more exotic climbs), first word, first steps (well it was more of a waddle, bum shuffle but I got there in the end). For most of these I can't remember them but they were important firsts all the same. 

Today however marks an important first for me that I definitely will remember. One year exactly today, I was busy posting my first ever post on FoodieForce. 

If you fancy reminiscing with me on that post you can have a look here

PennyHill Park
Pennyhill Park is one of my absolute favourite places to relax unwind and eat wonderful food, so it was very fitting that it was my very first post for

What started out as a little place for me to share my world, my passion for food and travel has evolved into more than I ever thought it could be. 

I have noticed that I seem to be one of the few bloggers who actually eat everything offered to them on the menu, and as more offers come in, so does my food intake and I've noticed that my waist increases proportionally. God knows how cuddly I will be on my second blog birthday. 

There have been times when life, work and blogging really have clashed, that a year of blogging seemed a very long way away. But we made it and I am so very proud of the way my blog has grown over the year and I really appreciate you sharing in my adventures across London and the world. We have had quite the foodie adventure. 
London Bloggers
I say we, because along the way I have met some brilliant people and had some great adventures, without whom writing a blog wouldn't have been half as much fun as it has been.

As a blogger I don't take myself too seriously. Now don't get me wrong I love to blog and have a serious approach to eating food but blogging is about fun, laughs and putting that enjoyment in my writing.

There are very few places now in life that people are supportive, caring and encouraging but this is very much how I have found the majority of the blogging community.

I want to say a huge thank you to you all for supporting FoodieForce, commenting and being a wonderful source of encouragement. As a thank you I am running my first ever competition. 

So what do you stand a chance of winning? (one of each of the following). 

Nip and Fab
London Christmas Tree decoration
Rococo Nail Apparel

To be in with a chance of winning you can do any of the following:

Follow me on Twitter 
Follow FoodieForce on Bloglovin 

The competition is open from today (28th October 2014) and run till Wednesday 5th November 2014. 

The winner will be picked at random and announced Friday 7th November 2014. The winner will be announced on this blog and via Twitter.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday 24 October 2014

Christmas markets and get aways

Christmas Markets

Yes I know it's only autumn, but as the weather draws in and the clocks go back this weekend I begin to think about Christmas. In my mind it's never to early to start thinking about Christmas, planning and getting excited about the festivities. 

As a family we love getting away in December to build up the excitement before Christmas. 

Over the coming weeks I will share some Christmas getaway ideas, the perfect places for present shopping, sampling cultural delicacies and soaking up the festive spirit. 

Nowhere does Christmas quite like the Danish. To kick us off I will share Copenhagen which is a real Christmas city destination. With a flight time of 1 hour and 45 minutes from London, it is the perfect destination for a quick get away, to have some festive cheer. 

Tivoli Gardens' is a fairy- tale land and at Christmas (November - December) is not to be missed. 
It is the second oldest amusement park in the world. It houses some of the oldest working roller coasters. Rutschebanen which is a wooden roller coaster was built in 1914. It also houses the second tallest carousel, The Star Flyer. 

Tivoli offers a Nordic wonderland of snowy wooden market huts, selling gifts, ornaments, hot toddies, and wonderful snacks. You can visit Santa's 
reindeer's, the beautiful Christmas lights, travel on the amusement rides and visit the theatre. 
At night Tivoli becomes especially magical when the fairy lights and Chinese lanterns sparkle bright. 
Tivoli also has some wonderful restaurants it is a foodies paradise, whether you are looking for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner you won't be disappointed here.  
Book early and you can also go and watch the Nutcracker Ballet at the Tivoli hall. 
Now if the wonderful story and costumes don't get you in the Christmas spirit there really is little hope.

In the centre of the city you will find Højbro Plads Christmas markets and Strøget one of the longest pedestrian streets. That has wonderful shops that sell brilliant Christmas gifts, ornaments and food. You must visit The Royal Copenhagen store. 

One of the absolute highlights for me was running along a snowy and icy road trying to keep up with these Fella's. 
The Palace Guards are an amazing spectacle to behold. At noon everyday the guards from Rosenborg Castle march through the streets to replace those guarding the Palace. Given the conditions in winter they march very quickly, there were a few times that this lady nearly ended up on her bum.  
Some of the best views are to be had by the harbour
(Nyhavn), where brightly coloured buildings stand tall around the waterway. 

Having an early morning breakfast and then taking a boat along the canal to see the city from a different view is really wonderful.  
Operaen - The Opera House. 
Little mermaid

Other things to do our Saviour's church is one of Denmark's most famous churches, with a serpentine tower and 400 steps (not for those who suffer with vertigo or unfit). The views are well worth all the effort. 
Our Saviour's
We had a truly wonderful stay in Copenhagen, and it is the perfect Christmas destination. 

What do you enjoy doing in the lead up to Christmas, to get in the festive cheer? 


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Monday 20 October 2014


Wandering around the supermarket I'm always looking for new meals to create and treats to eat. It is very rare in the FoodieForce household that we eat the same food month on month. I like to be creative with my cooking and try new things. 

For a while now beauty bloggers have been able to get monthly subscription boxes delivered right to their front door. Food subscription boxes have taken slightly longer to come about, with Graze boxes leading the field for a very long time. But recently there has been a explosion in the market of food box subscriptions.  

The idea of having tasty treats delivered directly to your door is one that really appeals to me. So when Degustabox (interesting name choice)made contact to ask if I wanted to review their subscription box, I thought I would give it a whirl. 

The Degustabox website is straightforward and easy to navigate, you simply pick either the option 'buying for yourself' or 'giving as a surprise'. 

Signing up to Degustabox costs £12.99 inc delivery. I think it is very reasonable , given the price of some foodie subscription boxes and the quantity of items that you get.  

So on with the review...

The day before my delivery they text me to say when my box of goodies would be delivered. 

It arrives in a cardboard box and has a little menu to explain what you have inside.
Within each box you get to try 9-14 surprise products a month, many of which are new. 

Little Miracles drinks I have seen these and wanted to try them for a little while, so I was excited when I saw these in the box. 

During the day I drink lots of tea, normally to perk myself up. These drinks are a great alternative, they are a nice combination of organic tea and fruit juice. With ginseng and açaí, it is the perfect pick-me-up morning, noon and afternoon. The best bit they are free from artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners.  
Little Miracles
Dark Chocolate Mint ThinsElizabeth Shaw’s. I could instantly smell the mint when opening the box. They smell just like After Eights and we all know how much I love them. 

Elizabeth Shaw's are made out of 55% dark chocolate which I thought would be a turn off, however these are so luxuriously delicious I am now a convert. 

These would be perfect to share with friends over a coffee or you could just keep them for yourself and eat the lot. I can't wait for Christmas to come so I have an excuse to try other products in the range.  
Elizabeth Shaw
Contained in the box was also two Crabbie drink products, Traditional Ginger Beer (non alcoholic) and raspberry and rhubarb (alcoholic). Now I am not a great fan of ginger in cold drinks and this drink didn't change my mind. 

The raspberry and rhubarb drink is designed like an alcopop which I really don't like. However, the drink inside was lovely, it reminded me of rhubarb and custard sweets. If you could place this drink in the ginger and raspberry bottle this would sell to an entirely different demographic and I would definitely buy it.
John Crabbie
La Vieja Fabrica MarmaladeA Seville orange grove in a jar, simply delicious. I wouldn't have ever picked this up in a supermarket but I definitely will now and I will also be looking at what other products they sell. 
La Vieja Fabrica
Jordans Simply Granola: I am a cereal mixologist; so far I have had this with milk, raspberries and peaches. Yoghurt, honey, walnuts and pecans, delicious with all of the above. Any other suggestions welcome.  
Jordan Simply Granola
Bahlsen Pick up! Really enjoyed the milk chocolate sandwiched between the two biscuits. Perfect for dunking. Not so keen on Black ‘N White, but that is down to personal taste. 
Bahlsen Pick up
Burts Lentil Waves. I would never have picked these up in the supermarket, mainly because I would have thought lentils as crisps who are they kidding. Hangs her head ever so slightly, ok I was wrong. These are yummy. Favourite has to be the Thai Sweet Chilli and I am really glad I got three packets in the box.  
Burtis Lentil Waves
Carnation CookIn my house I have some staple cupboard ingredients that mean I can very easily whip up a storm without too much effort. This will now be a cupboard staple, I definitely didn't know I needed this, but it has come in very handy, I have already used it twice making a carbonara and Thai green curry. The best bit is it has 68% less fat than single cream. 
Overall I was really impressed with my oddly named Degustabox. It had a wide selection of items that I probably wouldn't have otherwise tried, but really liked them. 

One thing that is a definite plus with the Degustabox is you can fill out a taste profile, which means the team can select products more appropriate to you.  

*Whilst my Degustabox was received free of charge, it in no way altered the opinion given above. I was not obliged to write a positive review and the company did not view this review prior to it being placed on FoodieForce.  

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